What does Biomedical Engineers Do?
A biomedical engineer is a unique profession because it lies at the cross section of several different industries and professions. Using a combined knowledge of biology, engineering and biomedical principles, these professionals design and implement health products and systems. During their career, biomedical engineers might deal with prostheses, medical information systems, artificial organs, instrumentation, care delivery systems and health management.
Biomedical Engineers Skills and Abilities
As high-level medical professionals, biomedical engineers are expected to be effective communicators even with complicated concepts. Comprehension of oral and written language is absolutely imperative to be successful in the field. However, there are a range of other relevant skills and abilities including:
- Inductive and deductive resonating: In the field, engineers are responsible for seeking out gaps in healthcare solutions and covering the gap. In other words, they must use reason to solve complicated issues.
- Critical thinking: After gathering necessary information and identifying a need, professionals must then begin synthesizing the data into a resolution.
- Creative problem solving: When facing complex problems and limited resources, engineers will need to be incredibly creative to be effective.
- Problem sensitivity: As with any industry, problems do not always make themselves obvious. Armed with education and scientific knowledge, biomedical professionals must develop an intuition regarding the cause and location of issues.
Biomedical Engineers Duties
As insinuated with the listed skills and abilities, biomedical engineers spend a vast majority of their time on creative thinking. They must not only create solutions, but finding workable ways to implement and design them. Translating idea into reality often involves a large amount problem solving, data gathering and analysis. Additionally, biomedical engineers are becoming ever more dependent on computer systems and software. As such, they must be able to interact with these machines and their interfaces effectively. Plus, engineers are expected to make decisions and take action while on the job.
Biomedical Engineers Tools and Technology
Engineers in this field will encounter numerous types of software and technology on a daily basis. They must be familiar with:
- Computer aided design software
- MRI scanners
- Medical software
- Development environment programs
- pH electrodes
- Analytical and scientific software
- Physiological recorders
In many cases, professionals will gain familiarity with the above and more through education or on-the-job experience. Regardless, they must develop proficiency with the above and related products in order to be successful in the field.
Education and Training for Biomedical Engineers
To enter into this field, it is not necessary to have any related work experience. That said job candidates need at least a bachelor’s degree in a subject related to biomedical engineering. Many schools offer programs specifically geared toward this profession. Some professionals seek a master’s degree in a related subject, but few professionals in the industry hold either a doctor’s or an associate’s degree.
Biomedical Engineers Salary
The salary outlook for biomedical engineers is very positive with the bottom ten percent making $52,700 annually. Especially as an entry-level professional, that is an especially high starting salary. The median average stands at $87,000 while the top ten percent make around $139,000 annually. These are national averages and pay fluctuates across state borders, but even so, this professional pays very well.
Biomedical Engineers Jobs by Geography
Looking at the number of biomedical engineers in each state, California, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Minnesota have the most working professionals. However, Florida leads the pack with 70.7 percent job market growth while Utah isn’t far behind at 67.3 percent. In fact, most states show 24 states have above 20 percent growth in this field. Additionally, 34 states have double-digit growth. With high pay and high growth, biomedical engineers are looking at an excellent job outlook.